California Painter, Photographer, Jewelry Designer, Treasure Hunter, and (above all) Travel Fanatic
Friday, May 10, 2013
The Mineralogy Museum, Newly Discovered Ruins, and New Friends in Tehuacan, Puebla
Monday we said goodbye to Cordoba, and started the drive to Tehuacan, in the state of Puebla. We were told that the libre (public road) was about an hour's drive and crossed the mountains, so we decided to take this scenic route. As usual the roads were narrow and curvy, this time with a change in landscape from tropical to desert.
This road had an interesting twist. On the ride up the mountain, every time there was a hairpin curve, the lanes were reversed, so that buses and trucks could make the turn. That meant shifting from driving on the right, to driving on the left, and back again, following the big white arrows on the road!
One of our main goals for visiting Tehuacan was a chance to see the Museum of Mineralogy there, which displays one of the finest collections of Mexican minerals. On Tuesday, not only did we get to see the museum, which was a total delight,
but we also got to go on another adventure, thanks to museum director Miguel Hurtado. When he started chatting with us and discovered we were visiting from the United States and had an interest in minerals and archeology, he asked if we would like to visit an archeological site on the outskirts of town that is not yet open to the public. Of course we jumped at the chance, and Miguel called his friend Ramon and asked him to come and pick us up. Shortly thereafter, around 5 pm, we were picked up in style in an orange Isuzu Trooper, which was the perfect vehicle for the bumpy road ahead.
Riding in the backseat of this four wheel drive vehicle felt a lot like the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland.
When we arrived at the path that would lead to the ruins, we were joined by Miguel's son, Angel, who also works at the museum, along with several other cousins and friends, and we all started the hike to the archeological zone.
Halfway up the hill, we encountered the gate warning us that we were on federal land, and were not permitted to enter.
We passed the gate and continued up the hill, where we saw some very interesting cacti,
this colorful bug,
these tree pods,
these yucca trees,
and this vine bearing some kind of fruit.
There was also obsidian scattered along the path, which Miguel identified for us.
Soon we encountered another sign,
along with a police officer with a rifle. Ramon and Miguel talked with the officer,
and we were permitted to continue our journey along the path. Shortly thereafter, the ruins started coming into view,
with the biggest reward being two pyramids at the end of the path.
There were these large stone pillars at the top of the the larger pyramid,
and the view from the top was spectacular in all directions, whether looking out towards the mountains,
or towards the smaller pyramid and adjoining ruins.
There's Eduardo way down below chatting with the police officer,
but he made it to the top eventually to join me for a picture!
The sky was beautiful as the sun began to set,
and it was almost totally dark by the time we made the hike back down the hill to the car. Afterwards, Miguel asked us to join them for dinner at home of the cousins, and it was a lovely ending to a very enjoyable, adventurous day. We were grateful for a chance to have a look at these newly discovered ruins, and for the chance to make some wonderful new friends.
Thanks so much to Miguel, Ramon, Angel and Company for making our time in Tehuacan so memorable. We'll be back!